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EWG’s Dirty Dozen

Unfortunately for us, vegetables and fruit show signes of pesticide residue. Some more and some less.

Fortunately for us, each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) lists the vegetable and fruit that show the highest amount of pesticide and the lowest amount of pesticides. This allows us to make best decisions on which fruit and veggies to buy as organic.

The list is called Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.

See the list here.

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Carrots are not just orange – who would have thought…

I love walking through the farmers’ market. I love seeing the beautiful colored fruit and vegetables.

But I didn’t expect to see this:

colored-carrotsMaybe I lived a very sheltered life, sheltered of colorful food.

But I seriously didn’t know that carrots come in any other color than orange.

I have the Dutch to blame for this. Allegedly, when carrots where cultivated in the 1700s, the Dutch were the forerunners of cultivating carrots in the Western world and – by no surprise really – they cultivated orange carrots and left out all other carrots. This was as a tribute to William of Orange who led the Netherlands’s struggle for independence. The yellow, white and purple carrot’s future was doomed. You can find out more about the history of carrots in the World Carrot Museum – oh yes, that’s a real thing!

Now you say, “ok, I want to know how the colored carrots taste“. I am glad you asked!

Colored carrot tasting

White – same texture and crunchiness, a little more bland in taste.

Yellow – same texture and crunchiness, more “carrot” taste than the white ones.

Purple – come in 2 kinds: white inside: taste like the white ones; orange inside: taste like orange carrots.

Orange – you know how they taste.

If you get the chance, go and taste the rainbow colors of carrots!


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On a flight

I am learning. It’s not always easy to eat clean. As I am going through this change in lifestyle I have come up with one golden rule:

If in doubt, read the list of ingredients.

This rule works. Really!
Right now I am sitting on a plane that is taking me to Austin, TX where I will run half marathon #22.
The flight attend just brought my coffee and a snack. As I am playing with the thought of eating the snack I turn it around to the list of ingredients which includes high fructose corn syrup and other not-so-great ingredients that I just don’t want to put into my body.

The thought comes into my head as I am contemplating how easy we accept what’s in our food today:
When will we get to the point that we will stand up for our bodies and stop tolerating chemicals in our foods?

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Week 1 of eating cleaner

I am not going to say it has been perfect, but I am making progress slowly one day at a time.

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sweet potatoes in coconut oil

I have been eating mostly organic foods at home, the ones I bought at the farmer’s market last weekend. Now, if you would have seen me this week in my kitchen, you would have thought I’d never cooked here before. LOL. Well, I have, but I have never used the oven since I moved in. Today, as I was hoping to make some sweet potato chips, I turned on the oven (and it only took me 5 minutes to figure out how it works… ahem..) and the glass fogged up and out came some weird cleaning product smell. You bet, I abandoned the oven and cooked my sweet potatoes in coconut oil in a pan. It was delicious.

I usually buy my lunch at work. We have 2 cafeterias available with some decent food and a salad bar that sources its veggies from local farms. It may not be organic, but since its sourced locally, my hope is that the food is not in too bad of a condition.

The Wellness Warrior book Make Peace with your Plate keeps me highly motivated exploring where my food comes from and what I put into my body. She makes some great points on the importance of keeping our body well nourished (it kind of is the only body we got, right?). She also has me contemplating whether to do a 2-day cleanse.

Yesterday was my ‘cheat’-day. Not that I should have had or needed one, but I took one. No apologies. I ran 5.5 miles with my team and we ended up having breakfast at a local place and I can tell you my California omelet (with all its trimmings) was delicious. The chocolate in my pantry is also now all gone and there won’t be any more eating chocolate out of the pantry. 🙂

I actually feel good about my choices this week (even the bad ones) and I am so happy that I found my path back to eating better and cleaner!

Now I am going to read the chapter on the cleanse.

Have you done a healthy cleanse before? If so, how did it go?

TWW-inspiration1


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The dirty dozen

As I am reading more and more (again) about healthy living and eating, I am surprised and shocked how much of our leaf2food is contaminated by all kinds of pesticides, preservatives and other chemical processes.

No wonder our bodies don’t know what to do anymore with the foods we are eating. In my readings i came across the Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 list that is being published every year by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) and lists produce that are most and least contaminated with pesticides.

Here is the 2013 list as published by EWG: EWG’S SHOPPERS GUIDE TO PESTICIDES IN PRODUCE

Dirty Dozen:

APPLES
CELERY
CHERRY TOMATOES
CUCUMBERS
GRAPES
HOT PEPPERS
NECTARINES (IMPORTED)
PEACHES
POTATOES
SPINACH
STRAWBERRIES
SWEET BELL PEPPERS

Clean 15:

ASPARAGUS
AVOCADO
CABBAGE
CANTALOUPE
CORN
EGGPLANT
GRAPEFRUIT
KIWI
MANGOS
MUSHROOMS
ONIONS
PAPAYAS
PINEAPPLES
SWEET PEAS (FROZEN)
SWEET POTATOES

Print out the EWG’S SHOPPERS GUIDE TO PESTICIDES IN PRODUCE before your next trip to the store or market!

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Turning over a leaf

Well, it’s not a really a ‘new’ leaf, hence an incomplete idiom. 🙂

It’s been 11 months since I moved to California and a healthy lifestyle was something that I surely expected from a life in sunny Cali. But it wasn’t quite so.

I spent my last 11 months settling into a new place, getting to know a new job, new colleagues and making new friends and I had a great time. I reconnected with my favorite charitable running organization, Team in Training, and made great new awesome friends.

BUT

The healthy lifestyle stopped at regular exercise.

With a new year and my ‘honeymoon’ period over I am ready to get back to focusing on a healthier lifestyle. I have been following Jess Ainscough, The Wellness Warrior, for some time now. And finally I bought her newly published book Make Peace with Your Plate this week.

So the first thing I did today is run to the local Farmer’s Market and get some organic goodies.

My first goal: Get rid of the pesticides in my pantry and fridge!

I was successful:

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My second goal will be: Learn to get some of the great nutrients as a juice.

I will need to buy a juicer. So something to research this week. In the meantime I started small with my blender. Just some apples, bananas and kiwis:

20140126-192740.jpgIt tasted YUMMY!!

Healthy food is cooking right now. I’d better go and check on it.

Happy and Healthy Eating everyone.
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